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Computational Thermal Sciences: An International Journal
ESCI SJR: 0.249 SNIP: 0.434 CiteScore™: 0.7

ISSN Imprimer: 1940-2503
ISSN En ligne: 1940-2554

Computational Thermal Sciences: An International Journal

DOI: 10.1615/ComputThermalScien.2012006511
pages 517-524

THE FUTURE OF CFD AND THE CFD OF THE FUTURE

Akshai K. Runchal
Analytic & Computational Research, Inc, Los Angeles, CA 90077; CFD Virtual Reality Institute, Dharamsala, HP, India 176219

RÉSUMÉ

CFD is undergoing a rapid evolution. The distinction between CFD and the so called Structural FE codes is disappearing. Solids and plastics are already being viewed as special subsets of fluids and eventually the structural and fluid codes will merge together and evolve as multi-physics design tools. The algorithmic advancements will have to include a much stronger emphasis on rheology, fluid structure interaction and physics that includes the complete spectrum of solids, plastics, liquids, gases and other phases in-between. A second evolution is occurring in computer architecture. The codes of today, with a few exceptions, rely heavily on iterative matrix solvers. The algorithmic core of most of the current CFD codes was developed when the paradigm was a single CPU with limited memory or a parallel system with multiple CPUs − at the most numbered in 100 s − in a MIMD or SIMD architecture. Hence the methodology used is that adapted to such configurations. The architecture of the future will be multi-core cloud or grid-computing CPUs, GPUs or ASICs. The use of matrix solvers for such architecture will present bottlenecks associated with communication and management software. This will necessitate a new look at how to solve the governing equations and how to do so effectively within the paradigm of cloud computing. A third evolution will occur in the implementation of CFD as a design tool. Increasingly, the emphasis will shift to embedded applications so that CFD as a stand-alone tool will practically disappear. CFD as an embedded application will then merge with virtual reality tools and be included in intelligent AI type interfaces where the emphasis is on the design function of interest rather than on the CFD per se. CFD will then be part of an interactive tool such as the one for x-ray tomography or the performance analysis of an aircraft engine and, with increasing task specific embedded applications, the day is perhaps not far off when specific ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuits) chips may implement CFD for such applications. This will give rise to EVR (Engineering Virtual Reality) Design Tools. In summary, CFD will surely become ubiquitous but buried to such an extent that it will be rarely obvious that a CFD tool is being used. Everyone knows there is an engine in a car yet hardly anyone cares to ask what that engine is.


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